St. Elmo News

Thursday, May 7
• Canceled-St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club.
• Canceled-St. Elmo Lions Club.
Tuesday, May 12
• Canceled-American Legion Post #220.
• Canceled-St. Elmo Community Park District Board.
Thursday,  May 14
• Canceled-Lunch Bunch.
• Canceled-St. Elmo Public Library District Board.            
• Canceled-Effingham Chapter #110 OES.
Monday, May 25
• Canceled-American Legion Veterans Memorial Service.
Closed Daily Through Saturday May 30
• St. Elmo Public Library.
• Brownstown Branch Library.
• Beecher City Branch Library.
• Fayette County Extension Office in Vandalia.
• Fayette County Museum in Vandalia.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings on Junior High Days
When I was in the seventh grade, in 1941, we moved into a new house on Pine Street – living room, two bedrooms, kitchen, bath, etc. The folks built, or had built, a building behind the house that was for the washing machine and ironing board. One day I went to the building to iron. I was barefoot on the concrete floor and I guess the iron had a short, or maybe the floor was damp, because I was shocked and couldn’t let go of the iron until I danced around and the iron fell when it finally became unplugged. Am I like a cat with nine lives?
Because the new high school was built in 1941 on the north side of St. Elmo, the seventh and eighth grades in the old grade school were held upstairs (the stairs were two half flights) and we all met in the large assembly room before going to classes. We were listed in alphabetical order. I remember a girl in front of me was scratching her arms, but when I asked her about it, she pulled her sleeves down and didn’t say why she was scratching. It was not long until I was scratching and was taken to the doctor. It was the itch and it took a while for the salve applied to make me well. We had to wash bed linen, etc.
I always went home for lunch and I remember one time, when I ran for the stairs, I was putting a coat on. and I tripped and bounced on my behind down a half flight of stairs. I had to push my bicycle home because I hurt so much. For years, every time I sat on something hard, especially the gym seats, I hurt. I think I quit hurting sometime when I was in my 30s.
World War II started on December 7 when I was in the seventh grade, and that was the day I became an adult.
Dad enjoyed bowling and some days bowled 15 games, many by himself. Because he wanted someone to bowl with him, I did a lot of times. Sometimes I used my left hand instead of my right hand, just to be different. In January 1942, I bowled a 185. I joined the women’s bowling group when I was in the eighth grade and had an average of 128.
In junior high, I really liked art and did some fairly good pencil and chalk drawings. I was in the Girls Glee Club and I was elected cheerleader when I was in the eighth grade.
The outside school activities included going to the show about every time the film changed. When we junior high kids went to parties, we played kissing games.
I started keeping a diary when I was 12 and listed 13 boys, which had Phil Rhodes at the top, whom I thought were cute. One time, Phil washed my face with snow. Guess I started liking boys when I was 12.
Daylight saving time started on Feb. 9, 1942. There was no school on April 25, because it was registration day for all men up to age 45. On May 4 and 5, there was no school because of sugar rationing.
In May 1942, I was an usher for the eighth-grade graduation.
The folks bought me a piano when I was 6 years old (in 1935) and my hands were too small to play. The next year, I started taking lessons.
When we moved to Illinois, the piano had to be stored for quite a while before I could start taking lessons again and I took them through the eighth grade. Laura Giesking of Altamont was my piano teacher.
On Feb. 2, 1943, we had no school due to rationing. Two days in June and two in July. I helped with the sugar rationing.
On Easter Sunday, April 25, 1943, I was baptized and joined the Methodist Church, as did Phil and several others.
When I graduated on May 25, 1943 in cap and gown, I was 5 feet, 6½ inches tall and was taller than most of the kids. In high school, most of the boys grew taller and some of the girls did, but I only grew another half-inch. My graduation gift from my folks was a black onyx ring with a small diamond in the center.
The summer after I graduated from the eighth grade, some of the boys from the Carter Camp north of St. Elmo would ride their bikes to town and the girls would meet at the Elmo Theater to see shows and sit together,
The shows were changed about four times each week and I went quite often. That was the main thing we got to do; we didn’t have television back then. When I went to the shows, I bought three or four small Hershey bars to eat – guess I was a chocoholic.
I have an autograph book that was signed during my seventh- and eighth-grade years. Some verses included the following:
When you get married and your husband gets cross, pick up the broom and show him who’s boss 
Kisses are cheap and boys are plenty but don’t get married until you are twenty.
Peaches grow in California, Arizona too, but it takes Illinois to grow a peach like you.
When you get married and your body gets cross, come over to my house and eat applesauce.
I love you big, I love you mighty, I love your pajamas close to my nighty. Now don’t get excited and fall over dead – I mean on the clothesline and not in bed.
When you get married and live in a jail, put up a sign – Kids for Sale.
Little bags of candy, little bags of kisses, all makes a young girl change her name to Mrs.
Remember me early, remember me late, always remember me as a schoolmate. (This was written by Phil on Dec. 3, 1943 when we were in high school).
In grade school he had written on the last page – By hook or crook, I’ll write in the last page in the book.
Roses are red and violets are blue, vinegar is sour and so are you.
Roses are red and violets are blue, rain on the roof reminds me of you – drip.
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you.
May your life be like arithmetic – joy added, sorrow subtracted and love multiplied by two.
When you see a monkey in a tree, pull his tail and think of me.
Leaves may whither and flowers may die, friends may forget you, but never will I.
This world is a queer one but awfully hard to beat. There comes a thorn with every rose, but aren’t the roses sweet?
When you get married and live in a truck, order your kids from the Sears and Roebuck.
Don’t it make you mad and don’t it get your goat when you’re in the bathtub and can’t find the soap?
Love is like an onion. You taste it with delight. Then you wonder, whatever made you bite.
Dyke Eddleman, a sports star, signed his name in my autograph book.
In August 1943, my folks and I and another couple went to Nashville and we toured the Hermitage and went to the Grand Ole Opry, where there were many young soldiers in the audience.
I was only 14, but looked mature, and was flirted with many times.
Dad bought out the Sun Rig Oil Co., I’m not sure what year, but I think I was in junior high, and named the company the Bates Construction Service.
In addition to St. Elmo, he did much construction work in the Omaha area in Southern Illinois and did some in Michigan, close to Lake Michigan.
One-time, dad stopped at a sale on the way home from Southern Illinois and brought home many old pictures, most reprints, and some were in interesting frames.


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